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Tertiary innovation and e-learning get $15m boost

20 January 2006

Tertiary innovation and e-learning get $15m boost

Another $15 million will be spent in the next financial year on 21 projects which will improve e-learning and foster innovative ideas in the tertiary sector Minister for Tertiary Education Michael Cullen announced today.

“All of the projects are exciting, cutting-edge initiatives which will have a significant, positive impact on the delivery of tertiary education,” said Dr Cullen.

The latest funding is on top of the $47m already allocated to 54 Innovation and Development Fund (IDF) and e-learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF) projects over the past three years.

The 21 projects to be funded in the 2006/07 financial year were put forward by a wide range of education providers from around the country.

For example Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne is being funded to improve the ability of teachers across other education institutions to easily develop interactive e-learning content. Auckland University is being supported to develop a curriculum to encourage secondary school students to consider careers in the vital area of biological sciences.

Other projects include support for Maori e-learning initiatives and measures to enhance e-learning in rural communities.

“Initiatives such as these are exactly what the two funds were set up to encourage,” Dr Cullen said. “Innovation is the key to creating the high-performing tertiary education sector New Zealand needs to help transform our economy.”

For a list of successful applicants:

Background information

The IDF and eCDF are two funds set up in 2003 to help tertiary education organisations develop their capability in line with the Tertiary Education Strategy and the Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities.

The eCDF was established for four years only to build the e-learning capability of the tertiary education system while the IDF is an on-going fund for new and innovative ideas which emerge from the sector.
The Tertiary Education Commission administers the fund on the government’s behalf. Final funding contracts are negotiated with successful applicants following approval by the TEC Board of Commissioners.

Round four of the IDF will open for applications in the first half of 2006. Total funding available for this next round will be $10m. The 2006/07 year is the final funding round for eCDF.

The TEC plans to evaluate the eCDF in 2006 to ensure that it achieved its purpose of building the e-learning capability of the tertiary education system. The evaluation will also examine the factors which contribute to the success of eCDF projects and whether there is a need for future funding to further improve e-learning capability.


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